Self-care is far more revolutionary—and far more essential—than most people realize. Among all the professions, the legal industry is rife with some of the most serious work-life balance challenges. In particular, Millennials are uniquely squeezed by economic and social demands.
Today, we’re exploring tools for lawyers to navigate work-life integration. From tech tools that facilitate delegation to supportive resources like peer-to-peer groups, let’s review some self-care options for stressed-out, overworked lawyers who are ready to set boundaries and thrive as leaders.
Millennial attorneys face uniquely difficult challenges
The demanding nature of the legal profession impacts all attorneys. However, millennials face additional pressures in some areas:
- Home-life demands: Expectations around caring for family (especially female millennials) and more responsibilities regarding aging parents.
- Technological saturation: Raised online, Millennials live with an embedded reliance on apps, software, and household technology that can make it difficult to disconnect. The plethora of tools (like AI) can be overwhelming.
- Generational challenges: Sandwiched between Boomers and GenZ, Millennial attorneys are often expected to mentor the next generation while still subject to exclusion by “old school” legal professionals. For Millennials, there are no mentors who have ever faced these unique economic and social conditions.
- Mental health: From lengthy commutes and lack of counselors to the climate crisis, Millennial attorneys commonly report anxiety and depression.
- Financial challenges: The cost of law school and rising inflation are a punch to the gut, especially for new firm owners who don’t have the security that older generations had.
On the one hand, people and organizations have begun to recognize the importance of prioritizing mental health in the legal industry. But there’s still a long way to go.
So until the industry catches up, Millennials can take matters into their own hands by prioritizing balance, community, and time away.
Use technology to keep up—without sacrificing your well-being
Technology is necessary for running a law firm, but you get to decide the role it plays in your daily life.
It can seep into every crevice of your life and create —or you can use it mindfully to improve your efficiency and bring more flexibility. Some tools allow you to delegate, organize, and streamline critical tasks, but others might actually create more work and stress.
Here’s how to decide whether a tool is helping or hindering your work-life balance:
- Can you adjust your notifications inside the tool?
- Does the tool create more free time or confidence?
- Is the tool serving your firm better than your previous solution?
The solution? Streamline your tools to improve work-life balance.
Find a single software that accomplishes multiple tasks, like video conference calls and project management. Automate your workflow as much as possible. Incorporate a self-service helper bot or a trusted outsourced live chat solution so that online visitors can get help 24/7 when your staff go home. Hire a productivity consultant to discover new tools that work better for you and your team.
Find community and build support networks
When problems pop up at the office, where do you turn? While your spouse can empathize and your co-workers can problem solve, ultimately you as the managing attorney face a unique responsibility to shoulder the burden and lead the way forward.
A community of peers and mentors can help you feel less alone. There are immense emotional and practical benefits to having a supportive network of other legal professionals.
To find support, look to your alumni network for names. Reach out to other attorneys in your area. Your state bar association may also have a wellness program of some kind. The Lawyers Depression Project is a valuable resource for peer-to-peer support.
Build a flourishing career on a foundation of self-care
Leaders exercise self-care—and we’re not talking about green smoothies and manicures.
When you look at the next 20 years of your career, how do you feel?
It’s all too easy for busy legal professionals to get caught up in the race. You are driven to succeed, and self-care can be complicated. But the reality is that self-care is the key to unlocking a long-term, sustainable career. In fact, you can justify self-care in terms of ROI as it’s proven that self-care has a positive impact on productivity.
Self-care will keep you from burning out and making mistakes. Self-care will also help you attract and retain GenZ talent, who deeply value work-life balance.
Review and next steps
Word to the wise: You can be successful and take care of yourself. Work-life balance is worth the investment, as it will help you keep up with your career. For every investment you make in your firm, invest in yourself, too.
- Use tools and technology that improve your work-life balance.
- Find community and build support networks.
- Develop a rhythm that can sustain your career in the long-term.
If you are a growth-oriented law firm that needs digital marketing, reach out to Omnizant. We believe in transparency and accountability, and we’re rooting for your long-term success. Please reach out if you’d like to take your firm to the next level with support from experts who know what it takes to survive and thrive.